L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 912, March 5, 2017
Freedom Bed and Breakfast
by Jim Davidson
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
“The bed and breakfast inn
Was born of sharing food with friends.”
The freedom community is a very diverse population. How big is it? Estimates vary. Here are a few attempts at measuring on this topic:
There are about 1.77 million students home schooled in the United States. Obviously not every home schooling family is entirely pro-liberty on every issue.
Wikipedia asserts that there are 650,000 members of Campaign for Liberty. I think that most of the Ron Paul enthusiasts are very freedom oriented.
Around 32 million Americans smoke pot. Obviously, not every pot smoker is a gun enthusiast, so this population is not an exact match to what I would regard as liberty activists.
About 4 million Americans voted for Gary Johnson in 2016, while about 1.2 million voted for him in 2012. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to discuss whether voting, including voting for that Johnson, is a libertarian activity.
Based on reports I’ve seen, something like a third of the adults in the country do not file income taxes, do not answer the census, and closer to half did not vote in 2016.
But, let’s say that there are 500,000 liberty activists, just to have a number. Now let’s ask whether some of these people travel for business or pleasure every year? I think the answer is definitely yes, based on my actually seeing people in the freedom community doing exactly that, going all the way back to my first travels in my college years with student groups dedicated to freedom.
Perhaps the business travel budgets would weight this average higher, and the current state of the economy brings the average lower for personal travel, but I think a rational travel budget per year would run around $2,000 per person on averge. From that budget, let’s extract one-third for rooms at hotels and sites in campgrounds, and another one-third for meals, leaving one-third for actually moving by plane, train, bus, or automobile. Let’s take 2/3rds of $2,000, which is $1,333.33 and run it down to $1,000 just to make the mathematics faster.
That means that people in the freedom community are spending, in one year, about $500 million on travel expenses relating to food and housing. What if we could help capture 10% of that money for people in the freedom community? That would be $50 million that people interested in freedom would be spending with other people who are interested in freedom. It also ought to make for a bunch of interesting dining room table conversations.
To me, that’s the essence of Ben Stone’s idea for Freedom Bed and Breakfast. When Ben told me this idea on my visit to his home two weeks ago, I was ecstatic. I understood immediately what he wanted, and what limitations he wanted to include so he didn’t end up hosting someone he really does not like. Some simple coding choices make that part easy: our plan is to have the hosts in a given area remain anonymous until the traveller applies to stay there, and the traveller has to reveal their identity in their application. So if the host does not like that particular traveller, they can deny access to their home. But if they do like that person, or have never met them, they can reveal their exact location. The most the unwanted traveller learns is that they were refused accommodations by someone in a city they plan to visit.
There are a lot more ideas involved, but after leaving Ben’s home (which was a delight to stay in, his wife Cindy does all the cooking and is a wonderful cook, and Ben does all the cleaning and the place is spotless) I drove to Indianapolis. (I was on a tour of 16 separate states in 7 days. So, I’m not only a co-founder of Freedom Bed and Breakfast, I plan to be a heavy user.) In Indianapolis, I met with coder extraordinaire Dan Sullivan—see his CV at neuzult.com for details.
Dan immediately agreed to do the coding work. We’ve also created a group message for people involved in the early stages of this venture, which includes Anarcho Abolitionist Jeremy from Seeds of Liberty podcast, and Derrick Slopey, in one of those discussion apps they have for smart devices. We anticipate having HoboSymbols.com operational on Agorist Hosting soon, and I’ll put some web pages there.
Meanwhile, we have created an IndieGoGo page to describe the project and, we hope, gather in funds from the community for our work. Here is that page:
We are always interested in what other people think of our work, so by all means, send us your thoughts. We look forward to making a highly secure, effective, open source client app available in a few months. In a few weeks, we expect to have a web site that does all the functions of listing hosts, accepting traveller applications, and serving the hospitality needs of our community.
Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, space enthusiast, extropian, raconteur, and bon vivant. He took Heinlein’s admonition to be capable of many things to heart a long time ago, and can kill a beast, prepare a carcass for cooking, tan the hide, use the small bones for sewing, gather herbs, make fine sauces, clean a house, programme a computer, build a database, populate a spreadsheet, engage in forensic accounting, and read at blinding speed. He currently is a principal at Apeiron Advisors and is planning a spectacular conference in October 2017 and an affordable one next year. You can read his essays on Being Sovereign in his book by that name from Amazon.com, where it was briefly among the million best sellers. You can read his essays on Being Libertarian from Lulu.com. He recently produced a 62- page draft of a field manual parody which may be obtained for free at [This Link] and wherever else anarchist code geeks are posting it. You can support scholarship students and the library project of Individual Sovereign University at this link
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